Madly passionate fans or sensible fans? Which is better for Arsenal?

MADLY PASSIONATE or SENSIBLE FANS? Which is better for Arsenal? by JON FOX

Any regular on JA knows pretty much what most of the other regulars think about most important Arsenal matters. We know who liked and who still likes Ozil, who passionately still wants Wenger to come back, and who could not wait to see the back of him. We also know, in the main, who exactly are the minority who still would keep Xhaka.

Of course, I speak only about the long- or medium-term regular JA Gooners, as new readers are constantly joining JA, just as our club is constantly finding new fans across the globe. So far then, so good!

Though it may surprise some, seemingly, to judge from certain comments JustArsenal, we ALL crave instant and evermore success for our beloved club. We all want to win every match, starting with our next one and to never lose any game ever. We want our manager to make sure we win all the time and entertain while doing so, winning multiple trophies along the way and being fabulously entertaining. We can, in short, all dream!

Dreams are good, dreams are healthy and without dreams, or if you prefer, real ambition, no club ever succeeds in the long term and hardly ever even in the short term either.

But you may ask, surely all normal people can separate dreams and fantasies from the reality of life. We would, I suggest, all like to win the Lottery or become fabulously wealthy but hardly anyone ever does so. That state is called life’s reality, and most of us quickly become attuned to it and accept our fate in life, even while sometimes striving in vain against it. So much in life is simply chance happenings or what we call fate. We are not much given to publicly railing against our general fate or moaning or boasting online about what is happening to us. We would be thought very odd if we did this. Especially if we did this several times every day.

There is however one particular activity we on JA share that bucks this trend. No prizes for guessing what it is! Passion alone cannot surely be the only reason we moan and bitch on JA. Most of us, I sincerely believe and hope (for all our sakes), have other passions beside Arsenal in our lives. I stop short of saying “all of us,” because practically nothing in life is ever common to absolutely everyone. For some folk, Arsenal IS the only real passion in their life and as a compassionate man I am going to excuse those few fans from any further comments.

But for the rest of us, in the privacy of our own hearts and minds, many would admit to thinking it odd that we spend so long on JA. My wife does about me for sure and surely, she is far from alone in that sensible reasoning. I at least have the, admittedly lame, excuse that I spend a lot more time than merely being on JA in writing about the other passions in my life. Others will doubtless do the same.

But the most sensible Arsenal fans are probably not on JA or other fan sites social media at all and can then at least claim not to waste so much valuable time on something over which we all have no say whatsoever! And that lack of say or lack of having any serious input personally, is the source of frustration which we all share and is probably the single factor, apart from love of our club, that binds us all. Yes FRUSTRATION! THAT CONSTANTLY IRRITATING, EVER-PRESENT ITCH!

Have you ever thought what would be like if that frustration were gone? Imagine if none of us were glued to the latest transfer window news almost every minute. Not having to wonder if we are signing an out of the blue, unexpected, world class striker, midfielder, right back etc. etc. before the window closes. We would all be in severe danger of becoming “normal”, and which addicted football fan wants that fate to happen to them! Not me for one! (Shudders at the ghastly thought!)

What then if you are a fan who just goes to games, or just watches them on TV, even talks about them at work or in the pub, but who can forget about Arsenal for most of the day and for whom watching Arsenal is just a pleasant or unpleasant (according to results) pastime and who could justify the tag of a normal sensible fan? There are many of those about and all clubs have them too.

But this article asks which sort is better for our club; sensible or daft as a brush fans! If we were speaking about our players, I would venture to suggest a bit of both madness and sensibleness would be ideal. Imagine the passion of such as Tony Adams allied with the cool calm head of say Dennis Bergkamp. That would be the ideal. Of course, it helps that both could play a bit (understatement of the century alert!).

To be totally serious, I believe the same mixture applies to our club, where we fans on JA are concerned. I think all fans have the right to let the club know if performances are substandard and we do so in the main. But constant, sometimes way over the top criticism is, I believe, unhelpful, even though real passion is the glue and life blood of all fanhood, and MUST be a very vital and valuable, even a raison d’etre for our beloved sport and club existing at all!


Jon Fox

Tags Arsenal fans


  1. Athletic reported that Arsenal didn’t buy players because they have their targets for the summer and only wanted to buy those summer targets if they had been available this January. I suspect Vlahovic was one of them.

    Is that why we contacted Espanyol about Raul de Tomas who’s worse than Lucas Perez? Is he a summer target?

    And those summer targets, do they want to join a club playing in the European Conference League at best?

    A LOT is at stake. And we gave Auba away. Our season depends on two strikers, both set to leave for free, with 3 Premier League goals between them.

    1. Oh and was chasing Arthur Melo part of those summer targets? So De Tomas and Arthur for summer targets? Thats devastatingly depressing.

      1. Pretty sure the same Athletic was the one that reported Arsenal’s choice of strikers and priorities.
        Pretty sure they mentioned Vlahovic, Isak, Calvert Lewin and Jonathan David. I’m pretty sure we went for Vlahovic because we knew he could move this Jan, but the others ant moving, and they didn’t move.
        Everton were never gon let go of DCL this Jan. Isak is pay up or nothing.
        De Tomas, I didn’t know who TF that is, I’m sure it came up while they were trying to sort out a striker replacement after Auba went to Barcelona without anyone’s permission. I’m glad we didn’t go ahead to pay for him, as it would’ve been a panic buy. Also don’t forget there were reports yesterday saying Arsenal called Morata but he chose not to come. Arthur was supposed to be just six months loan not transfer, Juventus only tried to use our head into getting us to take Arthur off their hands, that’s why we walked away from the deal. They tried to be smart, we were more smarter by walking away from their BS offer.
        I don’t think you should be worried about the summer transfer just yet

        1. Lets hope so.. and if Isak, DCL or David are really our main striking targets, we can forget any silverware for the next few years..

          1. Lol, wait what? Who do you want our targets to be?
            Erling Haaland? Lewandowski? Cuz I don’t get your statement.
            You say that like there’s a list of quality strikers out there

            1. We bought Aubameyang right? Anyhows, in terms of age, goal scoring prowess, experience, consistency, price and possible resale value (don’t want to give everyone for free right?), there are multiple options who I deem better than Isak, David, DCL. Namely:

              Darwin Nunez, Patrick Schick, even Emmanuel Dennis or Amine Gouiri?

              Isak’s release clause is at £75 million and I don’t think Sociedad is the kind of club to budge on that. By no accounts should this kid be worth more than £30 million.

              DCL will definitely be £50 million if not more, and Jonathan David’s goal scoring stats are worse than Pepe’s at Lille so I don’t quite see the fuzz about him.

              1. And who linked us with any of the players that you mentioned ? Journalists, that’s who. They see a team who need certain types of players and then try to make out that that club are trying to sign x, y or z players.

                Take a tip and never believe what a journalist says and wait until signings are announced on

  2. Jon great and sensible article is what this is. Yes every football fan reacts or overreacts from a place of passion for the club they support. For without the passion in the game, the sport will just be a boring one for fans.
    I’ve come to accept that even though as fans we’ll disagree a lot. It’ll come from the fact that we all want to see the club better, everyone just have their different approach to it.
    Some want it done immediately, some want it patiently done so it lasts and so many stuff.
    I Iove this football club and I will always defend and support it no matter what. There will be times results and events like the transfer window will be frustrating but I’ve come to understand everything doesn’t go the way you want it, either as a man, woman, or just a football fan.
    It doesn’t always have to go the way you want it. I get frustrated too by this football club, but I’ve personally made sure I learned to let go of the disappointment and quickly move while cherishing whatever good moments that comes along.
    There’s a lot more to life than football, I know in my life, football is down down the list of the things important to me. I don’t know about others, but this is why I don’t let it dictate my emotions anymore like it used to.
    I was excited about the transfer window and thought of getting Vlahovic or a strikeer, what came was disappoinment, but I was never gonna sit and let it be a thing that bothers me and a thing I’ll have to spend the next couple of days or week complaining about. I got better and more important things to pour my emotions into, and whenever the moment comes for me to defend this clubs and this team. I won’t hesitate to do that.

    1. Eddie…

      Simply fantastic response! I can’t thank you enough for such a thoughtful and inspiring response!

      I have almost nothing to add and only hope to continue along this line of thought! I’ve always believed that working hard to achieve our goals is an essential requirement for success, along with a slew of other factors. However, there will be dips in the process of learning, training, and testing to become great. Nonetheless, a champion maintains his or her beliefs while adding positives and subtracting negatives. Eventually, and inevitably, one becomes a champion, and even more effort is required to maintain it.


      Wonderful article! Examining life’s diversity is a lifelong endeavor that inspires many fields of study. Thank you for delving into it from your point of view, particularly in terms of the various types of fans. We will continue to embrace diversity while educating in the best ways possible, hoping that in time, we will all converge on the best conditions…

      Wishing us well and all the positivity of life!


  3. flores, and the prolific edwards from the youth set up should get at least on the bench now,,but arteta no cedric cedric cedric..patino mite just step up

  4. Nice article Jon. Not one written to encourage debate, as few can dispute what you have written, but one to (perhaps only fleetingly!) bring us closer to those Gooners we habitually argue with!
    As (except for immediately after matches) a relatively patient fan, my football philosophy has three cornerstones:
    – Success earned on merit over time is far more satisfying than success bought
    – The journey to the top is far more satisfying than the destination
    – Once you are at the very top and no longer have anything to aspire to, the only way is down.

    So I intend to enjoy that journey, however long it takes.

  5. Excellent article Jon and something I’ve been thinking about recently (particularly during the last few days of the transfer window).
    So how is it that so many ‘informed’ obsessives can pass judgements on Arsenal’s manager and technical advisor to the extent that they ‘want them out of the club’ and ‘should never have been anywhere near Arsenal’? This often also applies to players they dislike.
    I myself think that these are distance fans (not supporters) who have never been near Highbury in there lives and probably never will but are insistent that their opinions are the most relevant and will troll anyone who disagrees with them.
    I read JA most days as it’s not a bad blog (and there are far, far worse) but usually avoid the comments unless I myself want to offer my own invaluable input.

    1. @jax you don’t have to live in London or visit the Emirates stadium to be a passionate arsenal fan. I personally became an arsenal fan 27 years ago when I was living in Africa. Now 18 years in the United States, I’m still supporting arsenal. I was planning to visit London 2021 but the covid-19 situation didn’t make it possible for me. There are millions of other fans like me who are thousands of miles from the Emirates Stadium, but closer to the club in heart and spirit than you can ever imagine. I have customized arsenal page on sky sports football, bbc sports football. I get alerts on arsenal news and and lineup. I’m regular visitors on just arsenal as well. Though I don’t get alerts on new articles. I hope admin can sort that. I look for arsenal news virtually everywhere. My passion for arsenal and football is the reason why wife calls me soccer boy. Though I don’t make comments a lot, but I visit JA day night. Not a day pass by without me looking on just arsenal for new articles. Jon I must admit I enjoy reading this piece of yours. Well written.

  6. Not totally satisfied with this transfer window activities by Arsenal, but, pleased that some more fringe players have been moved on. They were not playing anyway and Arsenal is not going to miss them. Hopefully, the cash saved on their wages can help fund the acquisition of a quality striker in the summer. Let’s hope that the core of players that got Arsenal this far will remain fit and injury free for the next 17 matches. Also, Arteta should make better use of Pepe and Elneny for the rest of the season. Proper players rotation will be vital, as fatigue and burn out can cause lost of form. Disappointed Arsenal did not buy a quality Striker. But, Arsenal only 2 points away from the top four with a game in hand can make it happen if the players believe. Arteta should definitely get Pepe involved and play him down the middle (center forward),as he’s one of the best finihers in the team. I have never been impressed with Edu incompetence when dealing with transfers. His poor negotiation skills, lack of proper planning based on players availability, interests and profile ,coupled with his in inability to get deals done expediently ,leaves a lot to be desired. One day, things must get better. Maybe, it could be this summer.

  7. This comment is more on the headline rather than the substance of the article which I enjoyed (and I understand the author doesn’t pick the headline).

    The distinction between a passionate fan and a sensible fan is a false dichotomy. Lots of half glass full (aka sensible) fans are as passionate as fans who seem to be perpetually drinking out of the half empty glass since 2004.

  8. the timing of this “article” is a little too convenient for my liking, especially considering the present circumstances and your particular managerial leanings…basically you pose the most ludicrous of questions, is it better to be sensible or bat sh** crazy…obviously the overwhelming majority of folks exist somewhere within the middling “grey” areas…fact remains, in most case, the fans are simply a reflection of the manner in which a club conducts it’s own business, in that when they act in a reasonable and responsible fashion, footballing-wise, and display the requisite amount of respect towards their fanbase, the supporters usually act in kind…when it’s a sh** show and nonsensical behaviour and rhetoric pervades the organizational environment, the fans have a tendency to take things to a level that would otherwise seem inappropriate, which is what has transpired at this club since the emergence of the Wengerian divide

    1. I agree with you TRVL regarding the timing of this well written article.
      I’m pretty sure that you wasn’t part of the site during AW’s last five years, but suffice it to say, Jon bombarded nearly every single article with his berating of the manager and certain players.
      His “constant, sometimes way over the top” criticism is the source, even today, of some of our regular clashes.
      So, while enjoying the article and agreeing with most of your views Jon, your memory loss with regards to your own behaviour regarding AW and the “dross” players makes me smile, but then I am always the realist!!!

  9. JF, the two go hand in hand don’t they. The successful club’s are drIven by passionate directors who have a historic connection with the clubs history, remember the glory days, want to see them return or as in the case of clubs such as Bayern, retain their winning ways. I guess Bayern are the gold standard because of how they are run, ambitious yet pragmatic. On the other hand clubs such as Real Madrid, Barcelona or Juventus are driven by the passion of their fan/ directors who often gamble with bankruptcy in order to remain successful. When clubs are run as a business venture by foreign owners something is lost in the mix however. Hence the current disconnect between Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal’s owners and fans. With our club unfortunately there is no passion in either the ownership nor board and it is also being felt in the fan base who are becoming complacently accustomed to a new normal of “we are Arsenal and shouldn’t have the same expectations as our betters.”

  10. In my humble opinion Arsenal should go in summer after Jonathan David, Karim Adeyemi, Bissouma, Lamptey, Tchouameni. We already signed Matt Turner so for the GK position we will be covered. I would add to this list Jann Fiete-Arp from Hamburg as a striker with huge potential we could look at. Saliba should be a like a brand new signing this summer. We can generate 40-50m by offloading permanently Guendouzi, Torreira, AMN, Xhaka, Elneny, Mavropanos, Reiss Nelson, Pablo Mari. My bigeest wish is to sign Adeyemi, Jonathan David, Lamptey and Bissouma, what a team would Arsenal be with these signings…!

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